Marching forward with MIS — Key trends 3 spine surgeons are seeing


Here three spine surgeons discuss what the future holds in relation to minimally invasive spine surgery.

Ask Spine Surgeons is a weekly series of questions posed to spine surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting spine care. We invite all spine surgeon and specialist responses.

Next week's question: What technique, developed in the last decade, changed the way spine care was delivered?

Please send responses to Anuja Vaidya at by Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 5 p.m. CST.


Question: What are some exciting trends you are currently seeing in MIS surgery?


J. Brian Gill, MD, MBA, Nebraska Spine Hospital, Omaha: I am really embracing MIS techniques whereby I can shorten hospital stays and improve the overall quality of care that I deliver. I think that we continue to push the barriers of what is achievable which further facilitates the discussion and development of technologies and techniques. MIS surgeries have been talked about for many years and what constitutes MIS is debatable. If the outcome is better care at a lower cost then a one-inch versus a two- inch incision doesn't make a difference.


Brian R. Gantwerker, MD, The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles: I see the natural marriage of MIS surgery and the outpatient setting becoming a more staid thing. Now that Medicare has (predictably) added arthrodesis and instrumentation codes to the outpatient reimburseables, we will hopefully see more, but also judicious, use of MIS in the outpatient setting.  


Barry Ceverha, MD, Medical Director, Operative Program, Center for Spine Health at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, Fountain Valley, Calif.: There have been many new applications in spinal technology — spinal instrumentation, biological products, the progression of MIS surgery and so on. I feel that surgical navigation remains at the forefront of new technology. This technology enhances patient safety, demonstrates better outcomes and reduces cost by shorter OR time and more accurate placement of hardware. Intraoperative CT guidance with enhanced imaging will allow even more accuracy and will open new windows of application.


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